I wrote a few years ago about how I don’t mind the phrase “Happy Holidays,” and even prefer it.
This was in response to a slew of “I’m outraged” posts showing up on my Facebook feed during the Advent and Christmas seasons. I finally had enough of people complaining without thinking about the facts involved.
Well, another battle that many Christians seem happy to fight in the present “Christmas War” is the use of “Xmas” instead of Christmas.
While it is a little early, I know soon I’ll start seeing Facebook posts by Christians getting worked up over the use of “Xmas.”
Clearly, so say the Facebook posts and memes, replacing the word “Christ” with the letter “X” is a liberal conspiracy designed to attack Christ (probably led by Hillary Clinton), right?
Why would anybody replace the word “Christ” with an “X” unless they had bad intentions? How dare someone “X out” the name of our Lord? Or at least people using ‘Xmas’ are being lazy, right?
Actually, the opposite is true. Using “X” for Christ isn’t some modern liberal conspiracy. It goes back to an ancient Christian practice of abbreviating the name of Christ as “XR.”
The Greek word for Christ is “Christos,” which in Greek is spelled XRISTOS. The word starts with the Greek letter “Chi.” A very popular early Christian symbol for Jesus (way more popular than the cross even) was the “Chi-Rho” symbol, which looks like XR.
Xmas likely developed from this. While it may be slightly lazy, it isn’t an attempt to remove Christ from Christmas.